Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal Passes NC Senate

The North Carolina Senate passed SB 41 by a vote of 29 aye, 19 nay, and 2 excused absences. The bill repeals the pistol purchase permit, closes the church school loophole, and establishes a statewide “safe storage” initiative. There were four weakening amendments proposed by Democrats and all four were tabled.

The pistol purchase permit was repealed in the last session of the General Assembly but it was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC). His veto was sustained when enough Democrats switched sides to support Cooper. This time the Republicans hold a super-majority in the Senate and only need to pick up one Democrat vote in the House to override the expected veto.

Likewise, a bill closing the church school loophole passed the General Assembly in the last session but was vetoed by Gov. Cooper. The bill, like the current bill that just passed the Senate, would allow churches with private schools on their property to allow carry during non-school and non-extra curricular hours. In other words, if the students are not there, the churches can protect their congregation from evil doers with volunteer armed church security teams. We have seen all too often that churches are targets for those who would do evil such as in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

SB 41 would also establish a firearms safe storage initiative. It would be a collaboration of the Department of Public Safety, the Wildlife Resources Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services to “launch a two-year statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative to educate the public about the importance of the safe storage of firearms and to facilitate the distribution of gun locks.” While it would allow the contracting of a third-party entity with relevant expertise such as NSSF’s Project Childsafe, the bill explicitly bans advocacy on behalf of new or revised firearms laws.

Grass Roots North Carolina worked closely with the primary sponsors of the bill, Senators Danny Britt (R-Hoke, Robeson, and Scotland), Warren Daniel (R-Buncombe, Burke, and McDowell) and Jim Perry (R-Beaufort, Craven, and Lenoir), to secure a “clean bill” and build support for it.

GRNC released this statement this afternoon:

RALEIGH] Senate Bill 41 containing both repeal of our archaic Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law and the provision to allow concealed carry in churches which sponsor schools passed the NC Senate today by an overwhelming margin of 29-19.

The pistol purchase permit repeal, if enacted, will prevent urban sheriffs from abusing the system by arbitrarily denying lawful citizens the ability to buy handguns for self-protection. As an enhancement to public safety, it will mean that background checks for handgun purchases from dealers will be done at the time and point of sale rather than up to five years earlier as they are now.

The provision to allow concealed carry in churches which sponsor schools is widely supported by pastors, several of which testified in favor of the legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under current law, otherwise lawful concealed carry becomes a Class I felony if the church sponsors a school. The provision in SB 41 will allow concealed handgun permit-holders to carry firearms in those churches provided school curricular or extra-curricular activities are not in session. Although left-leaning media have attempted to claim it would apply to public schools which allow religious groups to meet, in truth the bill exempts properties owned by school boards or county commissions, as well as institutions of higher education.

Said GRNC president Paul Valone:

“Grass Roots North Carolina would like to thank Senate Republicans – particularly Senators Danny Britt, Warren Daniel, Jim Perry, and Ralph Hise – for a highly organized effort in not only passing legislation long sought by North Carolina gun rights supporters, but in deflecting attempts by opponents of the Second Amendment to amend the bill by including various gun control measures. In particular, we thank them for rejecting unconstitutional “red flag” gun confiscation schemes by which people’s guns can be confiscated, with little or no evidence or wrongdoing, in “ex parte” hearings they might not even know take place, denying them due process of law.

“If enacted, the bill will remove yet another of the ostensibly “gun free” zones that attract mass killers. That measure, plus removing obstructions placed by certain sheriffs on the ability of lawful North Carolinians to buy handguns for self-protection, will vastly improve safety in our state.”

Founded in 1994, Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to preserving individual liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Historical Ignorance Is No Excuse

As philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Taken a step further, historical ignorance is no excuse for opposing a law meant to write a wrong.

In this case, it is the 1919 law originally entitled “an act to regulate the sale of concealed weapons in North Carolina.” Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly have voted to repeal this law and have sent HB 398 to the governor’s desk where it is likely to be vetoed.

One of the leading opponents of the repeal is Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg). A lawyer and community organizer, Marcus proudly proclaims her membership in Moms Demand Action. She is a graduate of Hamilton College in New York and the Duke University School of Law.

From Marcus campaign website

In her opposition to the repeal, the AP reports this:

The local pistol permit requirement began in 1919 during the Jim Crow era, and some bill supporters argue it’s still preventing law-abiding black residents from obtaining weapons. But a local NAACP leader spoke against the bill earlier Wednesday, and Marcus said such opposition is evidence to her that the current permitting system isn’t racist.

Just because a local NAACP leader spoke against the repeal does not confer racial neutrality upon the law. I’m sure if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-NC) who is black had condemned the existing law as discriminatory and based upon a desire for white supremacy – which it was – that Sen. Marcus would ignore it and call Lt. Gov. Robinson just a tool of the NRA.

For Sen. Marcus’ edification and education, here are some links that illustrate the history as well as the disparate impact of the law:

By historian Clayton Cramer – North Carolina’s Permit to Purchase Law: The Rumble Seat of Gun Control Laws?

By Nicholas Gallo in the North Carolina Law Review – Misfire: How the North Carolina Pistol Purchase Permit System Misses the Mark of Constitutional Muster and Effectiveness

Finally, a couple from myself – “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part I and “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part II

I do not hold the fact that Sen. Marcus was born and bred in New York against her. My mother was born and raised in New York and Paul Valone who has been tireless in the fight to overturn this Jim Crow law is also a New York native.

I do hold her ignorance of North Carolina history against her. I also find it contemptuous that she uses the testimony of a NAACP leader as her justification for saying the law is not racist. To be perfectly frank, she couldn’t care less whether it was or was not racist. All that matters to her is that it is gun control of which she is a card carrying supporter.

Democrats Vote To Preserve Jim Crow Law

Every Democrat in the North Carolina Senate save two voted against the repeal of the pistol purchase permit. As I and others have noted many times, the history and purpose of this bill passed in 1919 was to disarm black North Carolinians.

The only two Democrats who didn’t vote against repeal of this Jim Crow law were Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt) who didn’t vote and Sen. Ernestine Bazemore (D-Beaufort) who had an excused absence. By contrast, every Republican supported the repeal with the exception of Sen. Bob Steinburg (R-Camden) who had an excused absence.

HB 398 had already passed the NC House of Representatives with bi-partisan support.

The bill has passed its 2nd and 3rd readings and has been enrolled. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk where undoubtedly he will continue the Democrat’s support of a law conceived in racism. A law that research in the North Carolina Law Review has shown still discriminates against blacks.

In a day and time when I get virtually daily emails from liberal groups denouncing Confederate statues as racist symbols and college buildings being renamed due to the segregationist past of their namesakes, I find it hard to comprehend just how strongly Democrat legislators, both white and black, cling to a law conceived in racism. Not only was it conceived in racism but the law still has a disparate impact on minorities.

I guess Democrats are more afraid of white women funded by a New York billionaire than they are of their own minority constituents. Go figure.

HB 398 Coming To Vote In NC Today

HB 398, the repeal of North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit, will be coming up for a vote in the NC Senate soon today. That may even be today as it has passed both the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee. The NC House has already approved the repeal with a bipartisan majority. Undoubtedly, Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) will veto it and it will come up for an override. Pressure needs to be put on both Republicans and Democrats in the NC Senate to pass the bill and then to vote for the override.

Grass Roots North Carolina has been leading the fight on this for years. They sent out the following alert last night. I have sent my letters and I’d encourage you to do so as well. On the letter to Democrats, I added that we take down Confederate monuments as “racist” – shouldn’t we repeal a law that is actually still discriminating against blacks?

Action Vital to Repeal Purchase Permits

HB 398 to repeal our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law passed the Senate Rules Committee today and heads to the floor for a vote as early as tomorrow. Please contact all members of the NC Senate immediately!
In today’s committee hearing, articulate defense of the bill was provided by sponsor Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba), Sen. Chuck Edwards (R- Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania) and Sen. Ralph Hise (R- Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey). The usual leftist whining was made by Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake). Thanks are also due Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Rules Chair Sen. Bill Rabon for moving HB 398 in a timely fashion.
GRNC president Paul Valone testified to the committee, noting both the racist origins of the law. (which is being racially applied even today), and the fact that GRNC has so far had to sue two sheriffs to get permits issued in the 14 days required by statute even as broad scale civil unrest causes thousands of new gun owners to unsuccessfully seek permits. After his testimony, Chaudhuri commented that it was acceptable that gun owners should have to sue sheriffs merely to exercise their rights. 
As usual, Marcus and representatives of North Carolinians “Against Gun Violence” (formerly North Carolinians for Gun Control) promulgated mistruths about guns being purchased without background checks at gun shows and online sales, blithely ignoring the reality that the same laws apply in those venues as anywhere else. 
Amusingly enough, Marcus admitted the Jim Crow discriminatory origins of a law which is being used even now to disproportionately deny guns to minorities, meaning that in the interest of banning guns, Democrats are now defending racism.
Perhaps most ironic was Marcus’ claim that she is “not anti-gun” but merely “anti-violence,” which not only belied the fact that she and others like her always support restrictions on gun ownership, but also attempted to falsely cast gun rights supporters as “pro-violence.”
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HB 398 Will have a probable floor vote tomorrow. Accordingly, we need you to contact all members of the NC Senate to tell them to support the bill. Please note that we are using different messages for Republicans vs. Democrats.

Senate Republicans:  Ted.Alexander@ncleg.gov; Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.gov; Lisa.Barnes@ncleg.gov; Phil.Berger@ncleg.gov; Danny.Britt@ncleg.gov; Jim.Burgin@ncleg.gov;Kevin.Corbin@ncleg.gov; David.Craven@ncleg.gov; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.gov; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.gov; Carl.Ford@ncleg.gov; Amy.Galey@ncleg.gov; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.gov; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.gov; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.gov; Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.gov; Todd.Johnson@ncleg.gov; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.gov; Michael.Lazzara@ncleg.gov; Michael.Lee@ncleg.gov; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.gov; Paul.Newton@ncleg.gov; Jim.Perry@ncleg.gov; Dean.Proctor@ncleg.gov;Bill.Rabon@ncleg.gov; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.gov; Vickie.Sawyer@ncleg.gov; Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.gov
Senate Democrats:
Sydney.Batch@ncleg.gov; Ernestine.Bazemore@ncleg.gov; Dan.Blue@ncleg.gov; Jay.Chaudhuri@ncleg.gov; Ben.Clark@ncleg.gov; Sarah.Crawford@ncleg.gov;Don.Davis@ncleg.gov; Kirk.deViere@ncleg.gov; Toby.Fitch@ncleg.gov; Valerie.Foushee@ncleg.gov; Michael.Garrett@ncleg.gov; Jeff.Jackson@ncleg.gov; Paul.Lowe@ncleg.gov; Natasha.Marcus@ncleg.gov; Julie.Mayfield@ncleg.gov; Mujtaba.Mohammed@ncleg.gov; Natalie.Murdock@ncleg.gov; Wiley.Nickel@ncleg.gov;Gladys.Robinson@ncleg.gov; DeAndrea.Salvador@ncleg.gov; Joyce.Waddell@ncleg.gov; Mike.Woodard@ncleg.gov  

Message for Senate Republicans: Suggested subject: “Support HB 398: Repeal archaic permit law”   Dear Senator:
Please accept my thanks to Republicans for moving HB 398, “Repeal Purchase Permit Law,”. 
If the law is repealed, background checks for gun purchases will be done at the time of sale, rather than up to five years earlier, as under current law. In fact, the Charlotte Observer documented cases of people getting purchase permits, committing crimes, but still having permits available for use (and to bypass the National Instant Background Check System) even after becoming ineligible to purchase firearms.
This year, the North Carolina Sheriffs Association reversed its position and now supports repealing the law. With both gun rights supporters and law enforcement organizations now supporting repeal, only gun control advocates want to keep the system despite the fact that it gives criminal access to firearms.
I will be monitoring all actions on HB 398 through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.
Respectfully, Message for Senate Democrats: Suggested subject: “Support HB 398: Repeal racist permit law”
Dear Senator:
In the interest of bringing background checks into the 21st Century, I strongly urge you to support HB 398, “Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal.” The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association now supports repeal of our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law as “duplicative.” Meanwhile, as depicted in a recent NC Law Review paper, black applicants are being denied permits at a rate three times that of whites, revealing that racism in permit issuance continues to this day.
Moreover, sheriffs in Wake, Mecklenburg and Guilford counties are using the law to obstruct lawful citizens from obtaining handguns for self-defense, even as rising civil unrest around the country makes it more vital than ever that citizens have the means to defend their families.
Worse, an investigation by the Charlotte Observer found that pistol purchase permits, which are untraceable and valid for five years, continue to be held – and potentially used to bypass background checks – by people who subsequently become ineligible to own guns.
I strongly encourage you to support repeal of the archaic permit law, after which background checks for gun purchases will be done at the point of sale, not up to five years prior. I will continue to monitor this issue through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

NC Senate Holds Hearings On Shooting Range Bill Tomorrow (Updated)

The NC Senate Judiciary II Committee will hold hearings tomorrow at 10am on SB 560 – Sport Shooting Range Protection. This bill would make the legal presumption that shooting ranges that relocated due to urban and residential encroachment is still considered to be in continuous use and is not considered to have undergone a substantial change in use.

This bill has already had a favorable report from the Senate Committee on State and Local Government.

To read the bill and see the impact of residential encroachment, go to this post.

If you are a North Carolina resident, I’d suggest contacting the members of the Judiciary II Committee to express your support for this bill.

North Carolina is urbanizing at a fast rate. The state was one of the fastest growing in population in the Southeast over the last 10 years according to census statistics. This will be putting more pressure on ranges located near towns and cities to possibly relocate. This bill would help protect those ranges and our shooting opportunities.

UPDATE: From GRNC on the hearings:

GRNC Range Protection Bill Advances

SB 560, “Sporting Shooting Range Protection,” received its second committee hearing today, this time before the Senate Judiciary II Committee, and came within a hair of getting a favorable report, which would send it to the Senate floor. SB 560 is GRNC’s bill for closing loopholes in the existing range protection law by offering “grandfather” protection against noise and environmental complaints for any range forced to relocate due to rezoning, annexation or development.

Bill sponsor Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie, Rowan, GRNC ****) did an outstanding job of presenting the bill; committee chairman Buck Newton (R-Nash, Wilson, GRNC ****) did an exemplary job of trying to move the bill despite a busy calendar; and Sen. Austin Allran (R-Catawba, GRNC ****) offered a prompt motion for favorable report.

Unfortunately, limited time and persistent questioning by anti-gun committee members Charley Dannelly (D-Mecklenburg, GRNC 0-star) and Floyd McKissick (D-Durham, GRNC *) forced Chairman Newton to defer a vote on the bill until Thursday.